2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Review

BMW's 4 Series Gran Coupe will win you over with its stylish looks and hatchback versatility.
7.1 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

German luxury automakers are currently the masters of creating new vehicle types outside the typical coupe, sedan, SUV body styles. Case in point: the 2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Rather than the traditionally styled 3 Series sedan or its 4 Series coupe variant, the 4 Series Gran Coupe offers an unusual combination of coupelike styling, four-door versatility and the inherent utility of hatchback.

Fresh from a batch of revised engines last year, the 2018 Gran Coupe sports slight changes to its head- and taillight clusters, an updated iDrive system and additional standard features. Best of all, the updates did little to affect the Gran Coupe's price tag. BMW's typically fantastic balance of a comfortable ride and stable handling is on display here as well. Downsides are limited to the cramped rear seat, aging interior design and the premium you'll pay over the similar 330i. However, buyers looking for something a little different might find what they're looking for in the unusual but very capable 2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.



What's new for 2018

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe has been lightly refreshed for 2018. Highlights include restyled LED headlights and taillights, a stiffer suspension, and an infotainment system upgrade to iDrive 6.0. A rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, satellite radio, and front and rear parking sensors are now standard on the base 430i. The Executive package is new, bundling elements of last year's Driver Assistance Plus and Lighting packages.

We recommend

Though we appreciate the four-cylinder's fuel economy and surprising amount of pep, we think you'll find paying for the sweet turbocharged six-cylinder of the 440i Gran Coupe to be worth it. The hit to fuel economy is fairly minor, but the extra performance it adds transforms the car. To round out the speed-and-luxury motif, we'd add the Premium package (for its heated seats and navigation system) and the M Sport package, which adds a sport-tuned suspension, body kit and meaty M-branded steering wheel. Driving enthusiasts should consider the Track Handling package to get the non-run-flat tires and upgraded brakes.



Trim levels & features

Despite its coupe billing, the 2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is a four-door hatchback with a traditional sedan profile. Two trim levels are available, 430i and 440i, with the main distinction between the two being what's underneath the hood. The 430i's turbocharged four-cylinder offers a compelling blend of performance and fuel economy. The 440i has a more powerful and nearly as efficient turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Both models are available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (called xDrive in BMW speak). An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission available.

The 430i is motivated by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (248 horsepower, 258 pound-feet). Standard features include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and foglights, automatic wipers, a sunroof, a power liftgate, power-folding and heated outside mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, power front seats, driver-seat memory settings, a 40/20/40-split rear seat, simulated leather upholstery, adjustable driving modes, steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, BMW's ConnectedDrive Services, a 6.5-inch central display screen, and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB port, and HD and satellite radio.

You'll primarily upgrade to the 440i for its turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine (320 hp, 330 lb-ft). You also get power lumbar adjustment for the front seats, hands-free liftgate operation and a Harman Kardon premium audio system.

Many optional packages are common to both trim levels. These include the Premium (navigation, an 8.8-inch display screen, heated front seats and lumbar support for 430i models), Luxury (chrome exterior trim, leather upholstery and the Harman Kardon audio system for 430i models) and Executive (adaptive headlights with automatic high-beam control, a 360-degree camera system, automated vehicle parking and a head-up display) packages. You can also up the Gran Coupe's sporting capability with the M Sport (performance tires, a sport suspension, a sport steering wheel and more aggressive-looking front and rear styling) and Track Handling (non-run-flat performance tires, upgraded brakes, an adaptive suspension and variable-ratio sport steering) packages.

Notable stand-alone options include 19-inch wheels, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a digital instrument panel, blind-spot monitoring, a forward collision warning system, adaptive cruise control, wireless device charging and Apple CarPlay functionality.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 BMW 430i Gran Coupe (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current 4 Series Gran Coupe has received some revisions, including a name change from 428i to 430i (to reflect a new-generation four-cylinder engine with the same displacement) and an updated infotainment system. Certain sections might not have an applicable star rating, but our overall findings remain applicable to this year's 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.1 / 10

Driving

7.5 / 10

Acceleration7.0 / 10
Braking8.0 / 10
Steering8.0 / 10
Handling7.0 / 10
Drivability8.0 / 10

Comfort

7.5 / 10

Seat comfort7.0 / 10
Ride comfort8.0 / 10
Noise & vibration8.0 / 10
Climate control7.0 / 10

Interior

7.0 / 10

Ease of use7.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.0 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess7.0 / 10
Visibility6.5 / 10
Quality8.0 / 10

Utility

6.0 / 10

Small-item storage5.0 / 10
Cargo space6.0 / 10

Technology

8.0 / 10

Audio & navigation9.0 / 10
Smartphone integration6.5 / 10
Driver aids6.5 / 10
Voice control10.0 / 10

Driving7.5

The 430i Gran Coupe's driving dynamics are hard to criticize but also hard to love. Acceleration is adequate but not lively, and the handling leaves you wanting more than the all-season tires can provide. As far as sleek, luxury sedans go, though, we certainly don't mind it.

Acceleration7.0

BMW's turbocharged four-cylinder has decent thrust, but the Gran Coupe is a heavy load to bear. What's more, there is a significant delay between when you press the pedal and when the real power kicks in. The Gran Coupe required 6.3 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph, which is acceptable but not quick.

Braking8.0

The brakes are great in both everyday traffic and in heavy braking. Pedal travel is very short and feels immediately responsive, and we didn't experience any performance degradation during spirited drives. The Gran Coupe came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet, which is a bit lengthy for the segment.

Steering8.0

The steering effort is variable depending on the drive mode (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport or Sport+) with the ideal weight in Sport mode. Comfort mode is good for parking lots and freeway cruising. All modes have a good return to center, and the hefty steering wheel feels good in your hands.

Handling7.0

The handling feels rewarding thanks to a good chassis and well-tuned suspension. But stiff 500-treadwear tires produced lots of tire squeal around corners and aren't designed to sustain a spirited pace for long. Stay below the tires' limits, though, and you'll enjoy your time behind the wheel.

Drivability8.0

The 430i is easy to drive in low-speed traffic even if throttle is a bit lazy at the onset. There's a decent amount of torque off the line and the transmission shifts are smooth. Auto stop-start remembers your settings (enabled or disabled) even after you turn off the engine.

Comfort7.5

A quiet and soft ride on the highway is the defining characteristic of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Not quite a grand tourer but adept at keeping passengers comfortable, the 430i does well with any kind of long freeway journey or commute. The climate controls have some oddities.

Seat comfort7.0

The front seats are comfortable but a bit narrow for drivers with wide hips or shoulders. The driver's bottom seat cushion can be adjusted, but even in its shortest setting it may feel too long depending on a driver's height. The back seats are comfortable, with decent yet firm bolstering.

Ride comfort8.0

Ride comfort is especially good in the default Comfort setting. Sharp impacts can still be felt, but they are more than adequately softened. Sport and Sport+ are decidedly firmer and feel out of character for a GT car like this so we kept it in Comfort for most of our test.

Noise & vibration8.0

No rattles, squeaks or other noises to speak of. The faint growl from the tailpipe only becomes noticeable with the windows down; otherwise it's a quiet cabin both in the city and on the highway. The level of road and wind noise is minor and better than the segment average.

Climate control7.0

This BMW climate control system is a strange duck. There is no way to sync the dual zones, and the auto setting button doesn't alter fan speed at all. The A/C blows cold and the heated seats work very well on their maximum settings, but below that they leave a bit to be desired.

Interior7.0

The Gran Coupe's interior is comfortable with relatively easy access to the front seats and a good driving position. Rear visibility is especially subpar, though, and the sloping rear roof forces you to duck down when piling into the back seat.

Ease of use7.5

BMW's iDrive infotainment interface isn't immediately intuitive, but it is likable once you learn how it operates. Otherwise, the cabin layout is simple with most controls within reach. A few often-used buttons were hard to find at first, but previous BMW owners will be right at home.

Getting in/getting out7.0

Sliding in and out of the front seat is easy since the seats are at the right height for most adults and there's no need to duck through the entry. But the high beltline and sloping rear roofline make things a bit more difficult for second-row passengers, requiring a quick duck-down on entry.

Driving position8.0

The driving position is good, with plenty of adjustability in the driver's seat and in the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The door panel and center console armrests are placed at a comfortable height as well. It's a little atypical that this $53K car has a manually adjustable steering column.

Roominess7.0

There's plenty of legroom, both front and rear, for an average-size adult, which is typical for the class. Front headroom is plenty adequate for a 6-footer. The rear middle seat is a bit tight and rear headroom is limited. Even at 5-foot-8, you may be brushing your hair on the headliner.

Visibility6.5

The sloping rear roofline impinges on rear visibility, but a crisp rearview camera display helps. Both the side windows and a massive windshield provide a decent forward view, but big windshield pillars and rear pillars alike create significant blind spots.

Quality8.0

For a car in its price range, the 430i Gran Coupe is luxurious and well-built, as you'd expect. It has soft-touch surfaces on most of the areas of frequent contact, and our tester was devoid of any squeaks or rattles. The panel gaps were tight and even, and paint quality was top-notch.

Utility6.0

As a hatchback, the Gran Coupe is less utilitarian than we'd like. Cabin storage for small items is abysmal, and cargo space falls behind direct rivals. Car seat accommodation is merely average.

Small-item storage5.0

If you're someone who carries many small items with you, you'll be keeping most of them in your pockets thanks to the 4 Series' tiny center console, ultra-slim and shallow door pockets, and cupholders that are only meant for regular-size soda cans.

Cargo space6.0

The Gran Coupe has 14 cubic feet of cargo space, which is just 1 cube more than the 3 Series sedan and 3.5 cubes less than the 3 Series wagon. The Audi A5 hatchback has 21 cubes behind the rear seat. A narrow trunk also restricts access to loading larger items, even when the seat is down.

Child safety seat accommodation7.0

Three anchor points on the back of the rear seats and two sets of LATCH points are easily visible but hard to squeeze your fingers into. Most child seats will fit in the back of the Gran Coupe without issue, but installation will require a bit of hunching over.

Technology8.0

As is typically the case, BMW's proprietary technology is a strong point. Its navigation systems, voice controls and upgraded audio system are all nearly perfect in the 4 Series, but device integration could be improved upon.

Audio & navigation9.0

The optional Harman Kardon audio system is superb. Sound quality, even at the highest of volumes, is undistorted and clear. Every navigation command was easily understood, and the map is on a crisp albeit small display.

Smartphone integration6.5

BMW's iDrive system works quickly but has lots of layered menus to search through. Apple CarPlay is a $300 option that our car was equipped with, but it was difficult to connect on a regular basis. Android Auto is not available. Two USB ports up front allow for smartphone connectivity.

Driver aids6.5

A rearview camera with an excellent display is standard, but other driver aids are optional. Our test car had the Executive package ($2,100), which added a 360-degree camera, automated parking and automatic high beams. This is a high price to pay for minimal driver aids, especially on a luxury car.

Voice control10.0

Voice controls were flawless in our test, and the prompts can be interrupted to execute your commands, which isn't the case in some systems. Song selection, navigation destination and phone commands were understood the first time, every time, thanks to the BMW system's natural language recognition.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.